With the online world advancing, the use of the internet is increasing as we find ourselves enveloped in accessible information. We reap the wonderful benefits of this with our abilities to connect with family and friends from around the world, shop online and access endless information. However in doing so we leave behind our own ‘digital identity‘.
Digital Identity: is the information we leave online, the sum of our characteristics. Every time we shop, fill out our email address or even our personal details on Facebook- this builds our online identity. We can have multiple online identities, authentic or fabricated. There are many advantages, but how much control do you have over your identities once online?
When posting your information online through social media your information is easy to find if you fail to have adequate privacy settings. Therefore your personal and professional can become blurred, private moments become shared and that information can’t be taken back. In particular, teenagers are shown to actively manage the privacy of their online profiles (Lenhart and Madden, 2007) Everything posted online must be appropriate for all audiences. Although it’s not that simple. Every site we use, accounts we create or searches we make our characteristics get stored to create another identity. It becomes hard to keep track of your information and who has it. Therefore it is not as clear cut as choosing one or multiple identities, we create identities without realizing. This can lead to involuntary sharing; where companies can deduce our identity from a trail we have left. (Internet Society: Video 2, 2017)
Importance of Identity:
Online identities are useful for firms because they are great marketing tools, and websites use them to help provide a personalized experience, prevent fraud and to provide appropriate adverts (Internet Society: Video 1, 2017). With this in mind, many of the worlds legal frameworks have failed to keep up a regulatory gap, and because of the different cultural views on privacy its impossible to create a global law. (Internet Society: Video 2, 2017) This creates the possibility of third parties accessing your information.
Sites like Facebook are slowly removing the aspect of anonymity, and forcing people to be authentic.
To note: Argument of community 2:31, Dusty Argument 5:24 and from 7:25 see his response to the attacks on anonymity.
However, online users are less likely to interact with profiles they do not know or trust (Costa and Torres, 2011).
Therefore, managing our identities is vital in order to keep your privacy and security.
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Bullingham, L. and Vasconcelos, A. (2013). ‘The presentation of self in the online world’: Goffman and the study of online identities. Journal of Information Science, [online] 39(1), pp.101-112. Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0165551512470051 [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].
Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. Revista Educacao, Formacao & Technologias. [online] Available at: http://eft.educom.pt/index.php/eft/article/view/216/126 [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].
Internet Society, Video 1: Online Identity – An Overview, 2017 Available at: http://www.internetsociety.org/online-identity-overview#overlay-context=
Internet Society, Video 2:Protecting Your Privacy, 2017 Available at: http://www.internetsociety.org/protecting-your-privacy
Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
Lenhart, A. and Madden, M., 2007. Teens, privacy and online social networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace.
Rainie. L, Kiesler.S, Kang. R, Part 5: Online Identity Theft, Security issues, and Reputational Damage, 2013, http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/09/05/part-5-online-identity-theft-security-issues-and-reputational-damage/
Ted Talks, The case for anonymity online | Christopher “moot” Poole, 2010 Available on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_1UEAGCo30&t=607s.